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Photojournalist Dave Wike to retire after 42 years at KING 5

In 42 years with KING 5, Dave Wike has covered stories in Russia, Iraq and China and seen the industry move from film to digital.

SEATTLE — Longtime KING 5 Photojournalist Dave Wike is set to retire at the end of May after more than 42 years with the station.

Wike began his career at KING several weeks after the eruption of Mount St. Helens. After graduating from Washington State University in 1980, Wike was hired as a temporary video editor. The job became permanent a month later, and in 1982, Wike turned to news photography.

Over four decades, Wike covered many memorable stories, including traveling to Russia for a series on Boeing and the Soviet Union opening up and being embedded with the 555th combat engineers during the Iraq war in 2003. Wike said he and former Reporter Glenn Farley were overseas in the war zone for a month. Wike also traveled to China to follow former Gov. Gary Locke on a trade mission.

“Each reporter, each story [brings] back specific memories and always makes me smile,” Wike said.

However, one of Wike’s favorites was a documentary he produced with former KING 5 Anchor Lori Matsukawa for the 75th anniversary of Japanese American incarceration during World War II. Wike and Matsukawa traveled to Minidoka, Idaho to share the survivors’ stories and fight for redress.

Over his career, Wike said the stories that stick with him most are ones where KING helped someone or made a difference.

Wike has also seen a dramatic shift in technology over his 42 years at KING. When he started in photojournalism, Wike described shooting his story on film, waiting for it to be processed and literally cutting the film together to make a TV package. Going live during a newscast required much advance planning and the assistance of satellite trucks and microwave technology.

Now, Wike said, with digital technology, the story can be shot, written and edited all from a news car. Reporters and photojournalists can go live from almost anywhere with technology that fits in a backpack.

In 2022, Wike was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Silver Circle, which honors those who have made significant contributions to the region’s television industry for at least 25 years.

Though Wike said he won’t miss the deadlines of TV news or getting called in to stand in severe weather, he will miss his KING 5 family.

“This has been my company and calling for 42 years, all at KING,” Wike said.

In retirement, Wike plans to stay busy kayaking, motorcycling, building model trains, planes and tanks and spending time with his four grandchildren.

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